Instead of listing out random people I share my birthday with (hello Gary Busey, and congrats on turning seventy today!), I figured that I would list out (arbitrarily) thirty things I wish were true on this my date of birth (like this blog, roughly half will be political, half will be entertainment-based). If you want to give me a present, do your part to make one of these things a reality in your life.
1. Stop debating the science behind humans and climate change, and instead start doing what you can to curb global warming.
2. Demand that Congress would pass the DREAM Act and the Kyoto Protocol.
3. Demand that we'd stop having a ridiculous debate in this country about whether gay people should be treated equally at work, when adopting, or when deciding to get married.
4. Apply Number 3 to the world, and add race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, and ability to the list of things we shouldn't discriminate over. The world would be a whole lot better off if we could get the "all people are created equally" belief to take with everyone.
5. Stop limiting women's rights to healthcare, birth control, and other forms of contraception. Stop treating sex education like it's something shameful and not what it is, which is something that helps to inform and save lives.
6. Get Democrats to vote in the damn midterms.
7. Don't let violence be the leading story in the news every night. Support meaningful gun control legislation.
8. When someone asks you why you don't support Obamacare, give a reasonably thought out answer and not a FOX News talking point. Also-come prepared with a reason why it's not a good thing that millions of your fellow citizens now have access to better healthcare and potentially longer, stronger lives.
9. Support a public arts program (every community has them-do a little research and you'll find a plethora of options).
10. Thank a teacher. Or a soldier. Or a police officer, fire fighter, EMT, public defender, social worker, or any of the countless number of people who spend their days trying to make your life safer and better.
11. Learn more about Libya, Iraq, Syria, the Darfur, or any number of war-torn places you see randomly in newspaper headlines that you skim over as you try to see what happened this time with Shia LaBeouf.
12. Read through Suze Orman's website and find one piece of advice or a tool that you think would be great in your life and follow through with it. Financial improvement is a great self-esteem booster, even if it's just a small step.
13. Another great self-esteem booster? Make a resolution and stick to it-there's no better way to feel better about yourself than following through on a plan.
14. Post a comment on one of my posts. Any of them. Seriously-I would love more comments.
15. See a classic movie that you've constantly put off rather than watching 30 Rock or Real Housewives reruns yet again. In fact, if you cannot name ten movies made before 1970 that you've seen for the first time in the past year, stop calling yourself a movie fan until you have fixed this situation.
16. Read a book that you've never read before. I'm not putting any chronological restraints here (people just desperately need to read more), but bonus points if it's a classic you've never finished.
17. If you can afford it, support your local live theater. If you can't, there's almost always free or super cheap theater if you follow up on that Number 9 option.
18. Support cinema and television that features demographics under-represented by mainstream entertainment. No one needs yet another cop drama or superhero film about a hot thirty-year-old white dude, and even if they do...at least have some damn diversity in what you're watching in addition to the cop show.
19. Realize that if you're watching something like Honey Boo Boo, you're part of the problem, not the solution, even if you also watch Downton Abbey.
20. Join a social media site that you aren't already on, and see how it can change your life for the better.
21. Write a list of all of the shows you're meaning to get around to but never actually watch, and then actually watch one.
22. Realize that you liked the costumes, art direction, sound work, visual effects, cinematography, makeup, or another technical aspect of a film or TV show, look up the person who did that behind-the-scenes work on IMDB, and then watch another one of their movies/TV shows to show support for what they're doing. If you're really up for it, tweet them about their excellence.
23. Play a video game that you've never tried before...or play a video game if you haven't in years. You'll be amazed at the new leaps of artistry going on there.
24. Text or call someone that you haven't spoken to in a while for no other reason than to say hi and learn about their lives. Try not bringing up your life and instead asking them just about theirs. If it feels odd, realize how often you talk about yourself/how little you express concern for someone else and change this about yourself.
25. If you're single, read these two posts: here and here.
26. If you're married, read these two posts: here and here.
27. All people, read these two posts: here and here.
28. Make a list of as many chores that you've been putting off as possible, pick a weekend/day off next month, throw away every excuse that you can come up with (in the time it took me to write this you just came up with five, and some of them were legitimate but I want you to power through them), and finish all of those chores. You will love yourself so much and be so happy the next day at work it'll probably make you more productive there and start something of a chain reaction.
29. Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow...and you know the rest.
30. Get me a date with this man: